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Calif. school district under fire after group claims students learn pedophilia as a sexual orientation. Here's why the school changed its materials.

Yikes

Photo by MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

A conservative group claimed that students in a California school district were being taught that pedophilia is a sexual orientation. While the school does teach about pedophilia in history, it does not teach it as a sexual orientation.

What are the details of this report?

According to the Freedom Project, a "top official" for the Brea Olinda School District told parents that students were learning about pedophilia and pederasty from a historical perspective.

The group went on to accuse the district of teaching the concepts as a sexual orientation.

The information purportedly came to light during a March parent information meeting with the district. The district held the meeting to inform and review with parents the state's Healthy Youth Act. The California Healthy Youth Act requires that students in grades seven through 12 receive "comprehensive" sexual health education, including education on HIV/AIDS. Lawmakers passed the act in 2015.

In the video, Stephanie Yates, who is founder of Informed Parents of California, asked district officials why they were "teaching pedophilia in school to ninth graders."

District Assistant Superintendent of Curricula Kerrie Torres explained that the district taught about pedophilia and pederasty when discussing "historical perspectives of how gender relations and different types of sexual orientations have existed in history" with regard to a portion on LGBTQ history.

Yates interrupted, "So sex between a man and a boy is a sexual orientation?"

Torres circumvented Yates' question, and responded, "It's something that occurred in history, and so this is really important for us to include."

What did Snopes find?

Snopes reported that a district representative told them that pedophilia and pederasty was previously mentioned in a slideshow bullet point on the district curriculum, but noted that they pulled the verbiage from the slide because of its ambiguous nature.

"After careful review of the curriculum, the district determined it [the bullet point] posed more questions than answers," the spokesperson said.

Snopes also reported that the concept in question was included in an "outdated version" of the district's Healthy Youth Act-compliant curriculum that mentioned pederasty "in a section about LGBT history, but neither endorsed the practice nor described or presented it as a discreet, legitimate sexual orientation."

The portion in question, according to the outlet, is titled "Introduction to Sexual Orientation," which features a slideshow discussing "LGBTIQ in History," and addresses references to homosexuality in ancient times.

The outdated version said, "The practice of pederasty (an older upper middle class man would make a young free boy his partner and become his mentor) is mentioned in Homer's Iliad, and is evidenced to have existed at least 4500 years ago in ancient Egypt."

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